New Mazda Vision Concept Previews MX-5 Miata's Electric Future

Concept / 13 Comments

A new concept has been previewed in a video from Mazda's Japanese YouTube channel.

Mazda's Japanese language YouTube channel has posted a new video to the platform that appears to give us our first look at an electric replacement for the Mazda MX-5. The half-hour-long video concludes with a segment that is roughly five minutes long, focusing on the diminutive sports car. And in between shots of the various generations of the MX-5 we have enjoyed so far, a couple of brief glimpses of a virtual render are thrown in.

The proportions of this "Vision Study Model," as it is currently named, seem to be very Miata-like, with a short rear end and a long hood, but before you break out the pitchforks, you should know that we have no concrete evidence that this does indeed foreshadow a future MX-5.

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There has been plenty of speculation around the future of the MX-5, and particularly what it will be powered by, but the most recent info we have on the car tells us that an all-electric powertrain is not in the cards - at least not for a long time to come.

However, the concept teased briefly here could well be a preview of what the future holds for the Miata in terms of design. As we mentioned above, the proportions look right, and although a coupe version of the MX-5 is not typical, it's not unheard of either. Of course, those high-mounted wing mirrors and gullwing doors are unlikely to make their way to a budget-friendly sports car, but the rest of the car is very Miata-like.

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The MX-5 has always been about evolution rather than revolution, and the design elements seen here seem to support the idea that this philosophy will continue well into the future. The narrow front lighting units look like a more contemporary take on the fixtures found on the existing ND Miata, while the taillights look like that car's tails are undergoing mitosis, duplicating themselves and splitting. Those who know their NAs and NBs (first- and second-generation Miatas) will also see the resemblance to the original taillight designs of these models. The front grille also appears to be typical of today's Mazdas.

Another theory is that this concept is simply a preview of an in-game car that could come to a platform like Gran Turismo 7, but what we do know is that Mazda is serious about more electric cars and is also trying to improve safety. A new hybrid system is coming from the company, and the automaker is investing in various companies to help it prepare for more BEVs.

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The Japanese automaker has announced that it will electrify all of its models by 2030, and to achieve that, it has joined a joint venture company "to develop highly efficient production technology and establish a production and supply framework for electric drive units." The automaker has also revealed that it has finalized an agreement with Envision AESC to supply batteries for EVs to be produced in Japan.

Furthermore, Mazda will launch new EVs soon and is considering investing in battery production. Finally, Mazda has committed to making its products safer and is "developing human-centric advanced driver assistance technology, aiming for zero fatal accidents caused by any new Mazda by 2040."

Mazda will invest around $10.6 billion in electrification and is working its way through the Inflation Reduction Act to see if production in America is viable, but an EV-only platform will arrive around 2025, and this is expected to help increase Mazda's share of the EV pie. How that will impact the next MX-5 remains to be seen.

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